WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is calling Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell a “phenomenal leader.” His comments marked the administration’s first praise of the central bank since a barrage of criticism by President Donald Trump.

In an interview with CNBC Tuesday, Mnuchin says he respects the Fed’s independence. He says he believes Powell understands the need for economic growth and will be careful in implementing monetary policy. “I think Jay has been a phenomenal leader at the Fed,” Mnuchin says.

Mnuchin’s comments came after criticism Trump has aimed at the Fed in recent weeks. Trump has said he is not happy with the Fed’s rate hikes, saying they could threaten the stronger economic growth he is trying to achieve with his economic program of tax cuts and deregulation.